DJ Khaled and his family are the lastest clan to grace the cover of Parents Magazine for January 2021 issue.
In an interview with the magazine, the Mega-producer and his wife, Nicole, opened up pandemic parenting, teaching their two little boys about hard work, responsibilities, and helping them enjoy their childhood as much as possible.
“I always wanted to be a dad,” says DJ Khaled with deep sincerity. “I couldn’t wait to have kids—it’s something I’d been talking about most of my adult life.”
Read the full interview below…
We hear that you set up a pod school for Asahd and some classmates.
Nicole: In March, when Asahd’s preschool sent everybody home, I was doing the Zoom classes with him every single day. I thought to myself, “This cannot be the best we can do!” So I organized a learning pod at our house with other quarantined families. We have seven kids and two teachers. And it’s absolutely amazing!
Khaled: Nicole did everything. We turned a guesthouse on our property into a little schoolhouse. It’s perfect because we have a playground right there too.
What are some daily rituals in the Khaled household?
Khaled: I start every morning off praying. Then I come downstairs and kiss Nicole, Asahd, and Aalam and I get the music vibing. These days we’ve been listening to a lot of reggae and salsa. Also Sade and Aretha Franklin. Music is a big part of our life. I have my turntables and I let Asahd scratch the records.
What’s your favorite father-son time with Asahd?
Khaled: We do this thing after lunch where we drive around together in the golf cart, just him and me. That’s our time. He tells me everything he’s doing and what he’s been thinking about. And I talk to him about how proud we are of him and how good he’s doing in school, and how great he is at being a big brother. It’s real peaceful. It’s kind of our man-to-man time.
You often talk about the importance of hustle. But Asahd and Aalam are growing up with a lot of privilege. Asahd has had his own Jordan apparel line—the Jordan x Asahd collection—since he was in diapers. How do you square the two?
Khaled: The kids see Daddy work all day in the studio. Especially now with the pandemic, I’m doing all my office work and meetings right in the backyard, so they see me nonstop working. I explain to Asahd, “Yo, Daddy’s got to work to make sure that everything’s good.” I want the kids to know that Mommy and Daddy work hard and that we want them to work hard when they grow up, to take care of their own families.
Nicole: We show them every day what it is to work. It’s not like we shield them from business.
What about household responsibilities and things like that?
Nicole: Asahd definitely has chores. Even though we have housekeepers, he knows how to make his bed. And he puts away his toys. Actually, he’s more organized than we are.
Khaled: And he wants to help make us breakfast. He loves to make chocolate-chip pancakes. That’s his specialty.
Let’s talk about limits. How do you tell Asahd “No”? Do you ever have to go Supernanny on him and put him on the naughty step?
Nicole: It’s amazing that we have never had to put him in a corner or anything like that. The most I ever have to say is, “Okay, I’m going to count.” And as soon as I say, “One,” that’s it. I don’t even have to go to “Two.”
Khaled: He’s such a good kid. We are so blessed it’s unbelievable.
Do you worry about your boys growing up too fast?
Nicole: I do try and keep life as traditional as possible, because we live in a very hectic world. I want them to enjoy being kids as long as they possibly can. I try to keep it like how we grew up as much as possible.
Khaled: Yes, because they learn so fast, you know what I’m saying? So we’re protective. We’re definitely cautious about the TV, and when we listen to hip-hop, it’s always the clean versions of everything. That’s mandatory!
What’s Asahd watching?
Nicole: His favorite shows are PAW Patrol and PJ Masks. Yesterday it was raining, so we had a Cars marathon. He was in his pajamas all day long and we watched Cars, Cars 2, and Cars 3.
And what about books?
Nicole: He makes me read 10 books every night before bed, and he’s serious about it being 10—he will go through and count them. These days it’s a lot of Dr. Seuss—Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? and Green Eggs and Ham, which he knows by heart. When I read it out loud to the class the other day, he was saying the words with me and everyone was like, “Stop, Asahd!”
So if each of you could describe your parenting style in one word, what would it be?
Khaled: True. I always tell the kids, we are so blessed to have Mommy.
By Francisca C.